Pothitakis Law Firm was contacted by the family of a young boy (M.M.) who was injured as a result of being struck by a vehicle in Iowa. The circumstances of the accident were that M.M. had made a bad decision to ride on the hood of a vehicle being driven by a friend. Although that decision was unfortunate, it should not have resulted in the severe injuries that were ultimately sustained.
While M.M. was on the hood, the driver of the vehicle stopped which resulted in M.M. rolling off of the vehicle. At that point, the driver then for some reason stepped on the gas and ran over him. As a result of this accident, M.M. sustained severe injuries. Initially, the insurance company was taking the position that the accident was not the result of the driver, but the result of the client of Pothitakis Law Firm.
Pothitakis Law Firm contacted the police officer who was investigating the accident and obtained additional information concerning the circumstances of the accident. Pothitakis Law Firm conducted additional investigations into the circumstances surrounding the accident and the nature of the injuries that were sustained. Based upon obtaining additional information about the cause of the accident as well as the nature of the injuries sustained, Pothitakis Law Firm was able to convince the insurance carrier for the driver that the driver bore the majority of the fault for the accident. This was the first hurdle that had to be jumped in order to be successful on the claim.
The next problem with respect to the accident was that the negligent driver only had $100,000 in liability coverage. Given that M.M.’s medical expenses were in excess of $200,000, this amount was not sufficient to provide M.M. any of the money that could be received.
Pothitakis Law Firm investigated and determined that the household in which M.M. was living had auto insurance that provided underinsured motorist coverage up to an additional $100,000. Based upon M.M. being a resident of the household, he was considered an insured under the policy and able to obtain underinsured motorist benefits if he could prove that he had sustained injuries as a result of an automobile incident and his damages were in excess of any liability coverage of the driver.
Pothitakis Law Firm again compiled all of the information concerning the accident as well as the medical records and provided those to the underinsured motorist insurance company and demanded the payment of the $100,000 in underinsured motorist coverage. Both the liability insurance carrier and the underinsured motorist carrier agreed to pay their policy limits of $100,000 each resulting in $200,000 being available for damages of M.M.
The next hurdle that had to be addressed was the fact that M.M.’s medical insurance had paid his medical expenses which had totaled over $200,000. The medical insurance wanted to be paid back in full as required under the health insurance policy. Pothitakis Law Firm commenced negotiations with the health insurance carrier detailing how the $200,000 recovery would not provide sufficient funds to pay for all the damages incurred by M.M. Pothitakis Law Firm took the legal position that M.M. was only receiving a small portion of his true damages. Given the extent of his injuries, because there was not enough insurance available. Pothitakis Law Firm demanded that the health insurance take a similar discount.
Ultimately, the insurance carrier agreed to accept less than $10,000 as repayment for the bills they had paid. They agreed to accept approximately 8% of the amount they had paid. This resulted in M.M. receiving most of the $200,000 after payment of fees and costs. This was a significant success given the complexities that were involved.
Although M.M. sustained significant damages that were in excess of the insurance, Pothitakis Law Firm was able to obtain a result that provided the majority of the funds that were available to the client.